NEWS

In Brief

AL QAEDA PROBE

Investigation shows no evidence that detained Pakistani is terrorist An investigation into possible links between a 31-year-old Pakistani, awaiting trial in Athens on charges of human smuggling, and the Al Qaeda terrorist group «has not revealed anything serious, quite the opposite,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said yesterday. Police detained several suspects following a report in a Pakistani newspaper – presented on Alpha TV’s Tuesday night news – saying a Pakistani named Hafiz Mumtaz (allegedly a member of Al Qaeda and wanted for 19 murders) was being detained in Greece. There is no evidence to suggest that Ahmet Mumtaz, the alleged smuggler, is the same man, police said. STRIKES No taxis until tomorrow morning, hospital doctors, judges launch action There will be no taxis in Athens again today as cabbies continue with a 48-hour strike which ends at 5 a.m. tomorrow. And state hospitals in Athens and Piraeus will be operating on skeleton staff today and tomorrow as doctors stage a 48-hour strike over pay. Doctors are to strike again next week. Judges in Athens and Piraeus will hold a work stoppage today from 12.30-2 p.m. WORK SITE DEATH Fifth fatality at Olympic Village A 32-year-old Albanian laborer died yesterday after being run over by a cement mixer truck on the site of the Olympic Village in the suburb of Menidi, north of Athens. Alexi Batsi is the fifth worker to die in an accident on the site. Acropolis death A 35-year-old man identified only as T.S. fell to his death from the walls on the south side of the Acropolis just before noon yesterday, police in Athens said. It was unclear the fall was an accident or suicide. Damanaki goes Synaspismos Left Coalition party MP and former party leader Maria Damanaki yesterday sent a letter to party leader Nikos Constantopoulos saying she will not be running for election with Synaspismos or any other party in the coming polls. Tirana protest A group of Albanian students protested outside the Greek Embassy in Tirana on Tuesday, demanding the conviction of a Greek police officer for the killing of an 18-year-old Albanian who had illegally crossed the border at the end of last month. The officer fatally shot the youth after firing two warning shots in the dark in an attempt to stop him and another Albanian from evading arrest. The guard has been charged with murder. ‘Self-injury’ A 56-year-old bus conductor was yesterday in a critical condition in a Thessaloniki hospital after sustaining serious head injuries during his interrogation by police at Litohoro. Officers who had detained Dimitris Piastopoulos for allegedly interfering with officers’ efforts to arrest illegal immigrants aboard his coach, said the detainee had smashed his head against the duty officer’s door of his own accord. Museum closed The Archaeological Museum of Marathon and the Tomb of the Athenians, about 4 kilometers further east, are to be closed from today to allow for restoration and refurbishment works, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. The sites are due to open in spring 2004. OSE suit The relatives of a 70-year-old man who apparently fell out of a railway carriage when a train door opened during a journey to Athens in February 2000 are seeking 500,000 euros in compensation from the Hellenic Railway Organization (OSE), the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Siamese twins Two female twins conjoined at the temple but with separate brains, born on June 12 at Thessaloniki’s Ippocrateio hospital, yesterday flew to Rome where they are to undergo an operation to separate them. Robber caught A Serres museum guard was behind Monday’s armed bank robbery in the northern town which netted 18,940 euros, police said yesterday after arresting Iordanis Hadzisavvas, 34.